Claiming negligence is no easy feat, especially in matters of the law. In order to successfully file a claim of this nature, you and your negligence lawyer will need to prove a number of things, the most important being that a duty was owed to you. The rest of your claim will center on this one very important aspect, so it is of the utmost importance that it can be proven that a duty was owed before any further legal action is taken. When it can be shown that a defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff (injured party), it will then be much easier to show the progression that ultimately resulted in personal injury.
After it has been established that a duty was indeed owed, the following will need to be proven as well:
- The defendant failed to live up to that duty, whether through negligence or deliberate breach
- The defendant's failure can be directly correlated with the cause of the plaintiff's injury
- The plaintiff can legally prove that recognizable harm was caused to him / her as a result
At this time, proximate cause will also need to be taken into consideration. When assessing the scope of the injury / illness caused to a victim of negligence, proximate cause will take into account the possibility that the defendant does not hold full responsibility for the incident. This is not uncommon; in fact, in many cases of personal injury, the defendant can only be justifiably held responsible for a proximate number of those causes which ultimately led to a plaintiff's harm. Proximate cause makes allowances for actions and their results which could not have reasonably been foreseen. This means that any damages that were caused by a defendant who could not reasonably have predicted such results will be ruled as proximate causes of a plaintiff's ultimate damages.